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Isla mala was born in 2017 after hurricane irma and maria came through and devasted the virgin islands and puerto rico.

After being evacuated from St John, US Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico near two weeks after Hurricane Irma and only hours before Hurricane Maria made her way through the islands, my husband and I were in Colorado feeling heartbroken and unsure of what was next. My soul ached for the islands, for our friends who were still there and for everyone displaced.

Many of us who called the islands home were spread all over the states, living in other people’s homes, on couches and completely unsure of whether we’d ever be connected again.

Unable to connect with the community and support healing through the weekly yoga + meditation classes I had been guiding for years, I felt like I had to do something during such a difficult and transitional time. This is when isla mala was born.

I decided to make the Love City Mala, named “Love City” after our island home’s nickname. The intention of the design was for survivors of the 2017 hurricanes to feel the strength and beauty of St John with each wear. This specific design mimicked the colors of the pristine beaches and tranquil waters surrounding St John. The earth stones selected were chosen to provide calming energies to bring peace, serenity and healing to the wearer.

The design was created for island friends but also requested by visitors and those who cherish their time visiting the islands. Only a handful of this specific design was created and what was made supported efforts in hurricane recovery.

The Love City Mala led to the creation of isla mala; isla the Spanish word for “island” and mala being a beaded necklace traditionally used for mantra meditation and also worn to represent and remind the wearer of their intentions. All isla mala designs are hand made from the knots that connect each bead to the finishing tassel and are inspired by the healing aspects of yoga + meditation as well as the strength + beauty of the islands and the people connected to them.